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IRAN: Securing forces brutally attacked Tehran bus workers’ rally (IASWI)

On Sunday, December 4, 2016 a peaceful gathering of bus workers in front of Tehran City Hall was brutally attacked by the barbaric police and security forces. The rally had been organized by the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company to protest against the non-payment of housing facilities and entitlements based on the City’s Housing Council’s approval and to voice their dissatisfaction with unfinished housing cooperatives and the rampant corruption in the City Hall. Tehran’s Mayor, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, a former military officer/Iran’s chief of police, ordered security forces to surround all neighborhoods near the City Hall to curb the protest. Many workers, including Hasan Saeedi, Naser Moharamzadeh and Iraj Fadayee, were beaten badly; in addition to the above three, a number of other bus workers, including Vahid Fereydoni, Alireza Tavasoli, Amir Takhiri, Atta Babakhani, Mohammad Ali Aslaghi and Amir Abbas Hosseini, were also arrested. The police attack was led by Colonel Abdolreza Jafari who was also beating workers with baton.

Despite police brutality, workers continued their protest demanding the release of their colleagues, which eventually forced the police to yield to their demands. At this point, it’s not clear whether the arrestees will face trials in future or not.

In protest against this brutal attack by Tehran’s mayor and the security forces, Tehran bus workers’ union (Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company) called on the municipally of Tehran bus drives to stage a work action on Monday, December 5, 2016 by turning their lights on during the day and driving about 30 km/hour. Bus drivers responded favorably to this call; however, the management of Tehran Bus Company and the security forces were ordering drivers to turn their lights off and began filming all drivers that were not following their orders. They threatened workers with reprisal and prosecution.

It is imperative to emphasize that Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company has been under constant scrutiny and repression and some of their executive members are currently being prosecuted again and have received jail times, including Ebrahim Madadi, Syndicate’s Vice Chair, Reza Shahabi, Syndicate’s Treasure, Davood Razavi, Syndicate’s Board member.

More updates to come soon. International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

info@workers-iran.org, www.workers-iran.org, https://www.facebook.com/IASWI, https://twitter.com/IASWIinfo

December 6, 2016

Send protest letters to Tehran’s Mayor and the IRI’s authorities:

Model Letter:

I (we) am writing to strongly condemn the use of force and violence against the protesting workers in Iran.  On Sunday, December 4, 2016 a peaceful gathering of bus workers in front of Tehran City Hall was brutally attacked by the police and security forces. The rally had been organized by the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company to protest against the non-payment of housing facilities and entitlements based on the City’s Housing Council’s approval and to voice their dissatisfaction with unfinished housing cooperatives and the rampant corruption in the City Hall. Many workers, including Hasan Saeedi, Naser Moharamzadeh and Iraj Fadayee, were beaten badly; in addition to the above three, a number of other bus workers, including Vahid Fereydoni, Alireza Tavasoli, Amir Takhiri, Atta Babakhani, Mohammad Ali Aslaghi and Amir Abbas Hosseini, were also arrested.   The police attack was led by Colonel Abdolreza Jafari who was also beating workers with baton.  Despite police brutality, workers continued their protest demanding the release of their colleagues, which eventually forced the police to yield to their demands. At this point, it’s not clear whether the arrestees will face trials in future or not.

I am calling on your government to stop persecution of workers in Iran. Right to organize and protest are internationally protected rights and must be respected by all governments across the world.

All the above arrests and repressive measures are clear indications of intensified offensives against the entire labour movement in Iran. We call on your government to unconditionally and immediately release all prisoners of conscious and repeal all charges and sentences against labour activists in Iran. We also call for the withdrawal of all sentences and charges against Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company board members: Ebrahim Madadi, Syndicate’s Vice Chair, Reza Shahabi, Syndicate’s Treasure, Davood Razavi, Syndicate’s Board member.

PLEASE SEND protest letters to:

· Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
Twitter: @khamenei_ir (English) or @Khamenei_fa (Persian), Email: info_leader@leader.ir

· President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani
Email: media@rouhani.ir, Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian)

· The Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran – High Council of Human Rights, info@humanrights-iran.ir

· Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, Email: iran@un.int

Also to Tehran’s Mayor and Tehran Municipal Bus Company: ghalibaf@tehran.ir; info@tehran.ir; bus@tehran.ir; info@bus.tehran.ir;

Cc: info@workrs-iran.org.

Direct contact address for Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company: vsyndica@gmail.com, www.vahedsyndica.com